Our watershed--an outdoor lab for neighborhood schools?

Our greenway is within walking distance of two neighborhood schools.  If local schools were to adopt the greenway as an outdoor laboratory, it would accomplish two important things:
  • show children how their lifestyles impact nature in the greenway.
  • justify the expense of a better plan for our greenway.
Schools could teach a "hands on" stewardship of a practical kind, suited to an urban landscape, rather than about pristine nature.

What's unique about our situation is that we have an entire little watershed within the community, with the affected lakes nearby.

Educating children is the only way we can achieve the real and lasting changes that are needed in the 21st century.

Possible activities in the greenway or at the school
  • Monitor for mosquito larvas in pools
  • Compare how rain barrels plus soaker hoses increase vegetation, vs no rain barrels
  • Use shallow wells to monitor groundwater levels
  • Keep track of the amount of streamflow relative to weather
  • Monitor the kind of debris trapped by a grid/filter
  • Monitor chloride or other pollutrants
  • Make rain gardens at the school
An example from Ohio

The Greenacres Foundation is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Greenacres Water Quality Project is a "community outreach project that works with school groups, citizens, environmental organizations, local communities, government agencies, and youth organizations to educate them about water resource issues and to work with them to preserve and protect water resources." They seek the "involvement of school children, families, and adults in water quality issues."

"The Water Quality Project began as an interdisciplinary real-world, “hands-on” science and environment education program. This School-based, Community-linked Monitoring project began in 1992 with several goals:
  • To monitor and protect water quality
  • To enhance science and math education in schools
  • To integrate schools, local governing bodies, and other organizations for the purposes of sharing information and improving the quality of local streams.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment on the article above, or on other watershed issues.